Electric-powered windows touted for condos
May 2, 2019
Exo condo complex in Renton, Virginia, has View Smart Windows. - View Inc.
View Inc. of California—which has offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto—is touting the use of its electric-powered, sunglasses-like windows for multi-family projects in Canada. Its View Smart Windows have been installed in an Ontario hospital, a new British Columbia office tower, and more than 400 commercial and residential buildings across the United States including a 457-unit condo project in Virginia.
Developed in Silicon Valley with backing from investors including Softbank and NZ SuperFund, these View Inc. windows remove the need for blinds or screen while providing security since the glass can be also be darkened with an app from a smartphone.
“It’s like giant sunglasses,” quipped View spokeswoman Linh Nguyen.
The double-pane windows are programmed to automatically track the sun and change the shading in response. While the windows reduce a building’s energy use by an estimated 20 per cent compared to conventional glazing, View Inc. is promoting the wellness aspects of the technology.
“There is more of a focus now on the health and well-being of the occupants,” said Guthrie Cox, president, View Inc. Canada.
View’s electrochromic windows use a single-line, low-voltage electrical current that allows a micro-thin layer of metal oxide to reflect or absorb light, tinting or untinting the windows. Cox said that 1,800 square feet of View Inc. windows draw the same power as a 60-watt light bulb—even when tinting.
The typical installed cost of this smart glass is around $130 per square foot, Cox said, which may limit its application to higher-end properties. However, a reduction in heating and air conditioning costs and the elimination of blinds or overhangs can reduce the overall cost, he said.